Categories
Haile Selassie I - Anecdotes

The Broken Wrist

“He knew how to wait – and he showed no sign of anger when he was thwarted. Towards pain, as towards disappointment, he had a stoic implacability. Once, when out riding with the Emperor on the plains outside the city, Tafari’s horse had stumbled in a rabbit hole and flung him into a blackberry bush, from which he emerged scratched and dishevelled. The ten-year-old grandson of the Emperor, Lij Yasu, already an arrogant boy with a cutting tongue, laughed at Tafari’s discomfiture and rode away to persuade the Court minstrel to make up a song to mark his cousin’s ‘clumsy horsemanship’. As the minstrel’s mocking verses started the royal retinue tittering, Tafari (who had remounted) urged his pony ahead and was immediatelly challenged to a race by Lij Yasu. Tafari not only easily outrode the boy but treated the entourage to a dazzling display of horsemanship, jumping streams, stopping short, wheeling round and rearing up his mount on its hind legs before the Emperor – and doing it all with one hand. It was not until the cortège reached the palace that it was discovered Tafari had broken a wrist in his fall and must for some time have been in considerable pain. The less observant members of the Court nick-named Tafari ‘The Shy One’ and jeered at his lack of words, but Menelik was one of the few who realised that he had all the qualities of a hawk, and sighed at the thought that he would never see him pounce and on whom it would be.”
(Taken from “Haile Selassie. The Conquering Lion”, L.Mosley, 1964)
Categories
Haile Selassie I - Life and Works

Princess Asfa Yilma 1936 – The Daily Life of the Emperor

“THE DAILY LIFE OF THE EMPEROR

There is probably no ruler in the world who has so hard a task as the Emperor Haile Selassie. He is the head executive of every department in the State, one of the few rulers who can say with truth: L’Etat, c’est Moi ! Many observers have born witness to his constant devotion to duty and have pictured him in time of peace working a sixteen hour day, while in time of war he goes frequently for forty-eight hours or more without sleep. Lately, indeed, some of those close to him have been afraid that he was overtaxing his endurance, but his sleep, though scanty, is of satisfying depth and he rises after only a few hours completely refreshed.

This is a gift of special interest since many great administrators have possessed it. So also is the fact of his extreme frugality at table. The food which is served is of the highest quality, but the Emperor is always sparing, especially in the consumption of meat dishes, while as far as wine is concerned although he has a cultivated palate and a very respectable cellar he is moderate to a degree. His mind, which he he works to its utmost, is never clouded; his eye is always clear, his hand always steady. At heart he is a lover of ease, meditation, and aesthetic pleasures; but he is unswerving in his devotion to duty.

Between the hours of four and five in the morning he is called by his personal servant, who ofter finds the Emperor already awakened and in prayer. Having completed his devotions he passes at once to his study where the Ministers of State attend him. The first consideration is news. There are reports from every seat of government which is connected to the capital by telegraph; there are the verbal messages of runners who have been sent by faithful chiefs who are watching the Emperor’s interests in the more isolated districts; and there are confidential reports of happenings in and around Addis Ababa. Any replies which may be necessary are at once dictated, the Emperor glancing through the completed drafts and sometimes making additions and alterations in his own neat hand. (…) He has made himself as it were the centre of a sensitive network of nerves. When anything happens he feels it. Pain is transmitted. Then later comes the knowledge of what caused the pain. That is perhaps the best way to describe a state of affairs rather puzzling to the European mind. (…)

But to return to the Emperor’s study. The orders for the day are given. There is now an interval while the Emperor drinks coffee, consumes bread and fruit and glances at the latest issue of his newspaper ‘Light and Peace’, the leading article of which is possibly his own handiwork, written with scrupulous weighing of words last night after a day of exacting duties. (…)

One of the sights on which the visitors never fail to remark is the lions of which there are many round about the palace. Often the Emperor strolls in his gardens accompanied by two playful cubs. (…)

Early in the afternoon the Emperor lunches sparingly, perhaps entertaining European visitors, and they enjoys a deserved rest. This respite is usually brief, however, for there is an endless round of inspections awaiting him. His troops, his schools, his hospitals – all these need his personal attention. Though he has twenty ministers they are really secretaries rather than executives. The Emperor is active head of every department.

Those who know him are surprised at his varied knowledge. Books come to him from Europe on every subject and he never ceases to amass facts. Before the war cut short all his civic endeavours he had begun to study botany in search of methods by which the productivity of his country might be increased. (…)

During the eary evening he consults with his financial advisers, comparing the records of tax returns and enquiring the cause of fluctuations. He has rapidly absorbed the principles of sound economics and understand very well the theory of taxation. In his early years as ruler he did not sufficiently oppose the principle of taxing imports, especially luxuries, as much as possible. It was the old tradition of ‘squeeze’. In the years prior to the war a very great change was observed by those familiar with the country. While the need of money still necessitated the imposition of dues the Emperor’s enquiries were directed to schemes by which these might be lessened and in private conversation he revealed himself as a Free Trader, saying that it was the ceaseless erection of barriers to trade by governments who should rather bend their efforts to removing them that had caused the world slump.

Dinner may be a ceremonial meal with many visitors and elaborate courses or a comparatively brief affair if the Emperor is not entertaining and has work to do. In the event of a State banquet, or even entertainment on a much less scale, all the conventions of Europe are strictly observed. Invitation cards of plain design but excellent quality all bearing the royal crest in gold are delivered with due formality well in advance. The menu is printed sometimes in Amharic only, but often with the normal French names with which the European is perfectly at home. The guests assemble in a long anteroom and when all are present the Emperor appears to head the procession to the table having first received the salutations of the party and having spoken a few words of welcome to the guests.

The Swiss chef is a master of his art. It is his duty to taste all the food which comes to the royal table. The imperial family are not often together but when the only remaining princess dines with her father she wears a simple Paris gown in the most perfect taste. (…)

For all State occasions the gold plate purchased during the visit to England is used. Champagne is the wine most in favour, but though it is plentifully supplied by tall footmen in red coats and white breeches who are trained to perfection and stand behind every chair, the Emperor’s glass is not often refilled. Frequently when the banquet is ended he goes straight to his study, lights the large reading lamp which stands upon his desk, and works there till morning guarded only by a single servant who stands outside the door.

The Emperor is air-minded. When he first visited Aden in 1923 he asked to be allowed to make a flight and did so in a seaplane while his suite held their breath. (…)

No one who has given the Emperor frank and disinterested advice has ever been forgotten by him. It may be some time before the opportunity offers, but always there is kindly and adequate recognition of the help received.

The Emperor has always been very accessible to foreigners and journalists have never had any cause to complain of his treatment of them. (…)

His relations with the Empress Manen are an index to his simple, unchanging character. He married her twenty years ago before he began his struggle for the throne and has never had cause to regret his choice. Sha has been a loyal helpmate in countless ways of which the outside world knows little, and it is perhaps most to her credit that where she could not help she has not hindered. (…)

The Emperor shows her great respect, and by his considerate treatment of his wife and his high moral standards has set a fine example to his people. Even those who like him least can have no ground for criticism in his marital life. In the midst of pressing affairs Haile Selassie would always give priority to a letter from his wife and he would deal with her requests with generosity and with scrupulous attention to detail. (…)

The Emperor loves clocks. He knows that they measure the most important thing in life. He knows – and to his cost – that he is almost the only man in Ethiopia aware of that fact. He realises, too, the importance of training everybody to the use of the clock. In modern Ethiopia time is money. (…)

That is the great personal tragedy of the Emperor – he can foresee so many consequences to which his lighthearted warriors are blind, and he cannot explain to them the reasons for his actions.

(Taken from “Haile Selassie Emperor of Ethiopia”, Princess Asfa Yilma, London 1936)

 

Categories
Haile Selassie I - Prophecy I&I Rasta

The Name of Ras-Ta

It has been written in the Revelation of John about the people of Christ in His Second Coming:
“And they shall see his face; and HIS NAME SHALL BE IN THEIR FOREHEADS.” (Revelation 22, 1-4)
According to the same holy book, the people of Christ had to be sealed in their foreheads with a Taw ተ:
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have SEALED the servants of our God in their FOREHEADS.” (Revelation 7, 1-4)
“And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark (TAW) upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.“ (Ezekiel 9, 4-6)
Taw is the supreme “Sign” (The Sign of the Cross). “Sign” is said in Geez “T(e)(e)m(e)rt” ትእምርት with initial and final Taw. Being the origin of our common “x”, it is the archetype of the “Mark”, and that’s why we also say the word “Tattoo”. Taw is the last major letter of the Geez Abugida Alphabet, and it is also interpreted as “The Seal”, MahTem ማኅተም.
What is prophetically described in the Revelation of John, was already been performed with Moses, when he ordered to sign a cross on the frontdoors of the houses of Israel, with the blood of the sacrificed lamb :
“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12,13)
Liberation from Egypt was allegory of the Ultimate Liberation of I&I from Babylon in these last times, through many plagues.
This “Taw/T” sign on the center of the forehead is an open Third Eye of Mind, through which the Rastaman sees and knows the true Nature of His King. It is the Cross of the Ethiopians, marked upon the Third Eye brow as we commonly see among them, as they are the Chosen people.
So I&I His people bear His “Terrible” and “Dreadful” Name, TEFERI ተፈሪ, that was revealed by the prophet:
“For I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.” (Malachi 1,14)
That name is a Taw ተ in our Foreheads. “Ras” means “Head”, and “Ta” means “Taw”, so I&I “Ras-Ta” according to the prophecy. His Majesty assumed the title of Ras on 27th of September, the Feast of the Cross/Taw ተ, giving the name “RasTafari” to I&I movement in this Apocalypse.
We bear it like a crown of “Dread-locks”, in a “Tam”, for “Ferhate Egziabhier”, “the Fear of the Lord”, is the last Crown Spirit among the Seven Spirits of God described in Isaiah 11,2:
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;”
Rasta is also interpreted “Ar(e)st” አርእስት “Heads” as it is written: “they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20,6); and “R(e)st” ርስት “Heritage”, as it is written: “ Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5,5)
R, S and T are the last 3 major letters of the Geez Abugida, so the name RASTA is prophetically read as “the Seal of the Alphabet”, and must be revealed in these very last times.
Categories
Haile Selassie I - Anecdotes

Imperial Shooting

“Possibly you have read that when the Emperor goes out shooting the official who accompanies him always shoots first and misses while the Emperor then brings off the winning shot. This sort of anecdote though true enough in uninterpreted fact gives a very wrong impression. To begin with a second shot is often a good deal more difficult than a first – and Haile Selassie is admitted by all who know him to be a very fine shot indeed; while it is incorrect that the ceremonial – a very ancient prescription – is carried out whenever the Emperor shoots. A young Frenchman of my acquaintance, an almost miraculous shot, told me how some years ago he had the pleasure of a few hours informal shooting with the Emperor whom he paid the compliment of treating simply as a fellow sportsman and beating at the game – though by a very small margin.

‘When it was all over’, he said, ‘I watched for signs of sulkiness, or alternatively that glassy politeness which is even more indicative of the bad loser with whom the fault is inborn. I will swear that I saw no such sign. The Emperor was genuinely glad to have found an antagonist willing to meet him on equal terms and being beaten in a fair trial of skill perturbed him not in the least.’ “

(Taken from “”Haile Selassie Emperor of Ethiopia”, Princess Asfa Yilma, London 1936).
Categories
Haile Selassie I - Anecdotes

The Wild Horse

“Once when a wild horse had been brought in from the hill pastures and only partly tamed, Lidj Yassu went so far as to place Tafari Makonnen on its back and send it galloping off madly with a sharp slash of his hide whip. The horse careered wildly down the slope, young Tafari clinging for dear life to the shaggy mane. His eyes showed terror, but he clung on. With drawn face and set teeth he stuck to the mount until it tired. Yassu took great delight in this joke of his and repeated it on several occasions. He was courted by everyone in Addis Ababa since it was guessed that he would one day be Emperor. There was thus no one to interfere.
Tafari learned to take a beating, to be desperately afraid and yet to hang on. That lesson was to mould his whole character. In after years he never showed reckless bravery, but once he had set his hand to anything he never let go.”
(Taken from “”Haile Selassie Emperor of Ethiopia”, Princess Asfa Yilma, London 1936).
Categories
Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

Princess Asfa Yilma – 1936

THE EMPEROR’S SECRET
Haile Selassie rules because he knows the true foundation of a ruler’s strength. If ever there was a man who realised that knowledge is power he is that man. Desire for knowledge is the mainspring of his character. In saying this I speak from personal experience.
When he was in England in 1924 he received me in private when the diplomatic functions were over and quietly and shrewdly questioned me concerning everything in London which he had found difficult to understand. As I answered his questions I had a feeling that each fact was quietly seized upon and stored away for use at some future time. Nothing escaped him. His penetrating enquiries concerning the political situation would, I remember thinking, have astounded the various functionaries who had treated him with somewhat superior politeness and answered him with official caution, amounting usually to evasiveness. He was in Europe for many reasons, but above all to learn. (…)
‘You knew my father, did you not?’ #QHS asked the Emperor. I said that I had met Ras Makonnen, Governor of Harar, only on one occasion, but that I had always remembered his strength and charm. The Emperor smiled. ‘They thought well of him in London I am told?’ #QHS
It was a happiness to reply with truth that during my years in England I had several times heard from officials concerned with Ethiopian affairs how greatly the character and ability of the Emperor’s father had been respected.
As I spoke he said nothing, but I saw a look of resolution come into his eyes, determination that he would be worthy of his father.
Then picked up a volume from the table at his side.
Will you tell your cousin when next you see him that I value his dictionary’, he said. ‘It is a fine piece of work and the greatest assistance to us all’. #QHS
He was referring to my cousin, Charles Ambruster, British Consul at Gondar in Nothern Abyssinia who, having retired to Majorca, had compiled an Amharic dictionary, the first attempt at an exhaustive guide to that elusive language. I was glad to be able to assure him that my cousin was well.
‘There is still a monument to your father in Ethiopia’, said the Emperor, smiling. At first I did not understand. ‘The cannon which he cast for the Emperor Theodore. You know the story?’. #QHS
I had heard my father tell it many times.
‘I believe it was never fire?’
The Emperor’s smile grew wider.
‘No, it was never fired, Princess, but for a man who knew nothing of such things it was a wonderful achievement. We have yet to make another. That was sixty years ago and we have still no factories’. #QHS
‘You have not seen factories in England, your Highness?’
‘No, not yet’ #QHS
‘One part of England where there are many of them they call the Black Country’.
The ruler from the East was puzzled.
‘The smoke blackens everything. It hides the sky. Factories can be very terrible.’
The Emperor slowly nodded.
‘We shall not go too fast’, #QHS he said.
Seated in a high-backed chair, a pile of books and newspapers beside him, he takled alternately in French and Amharic, touching on many subjects. He did not pose. It was his air of simplicity that charmed me. London had excited him; he did not attempt to conceal it. That morning he had spent in a famous Knightsbridge store. ‘One day’, he said, ‘they shall open a branch in my capital’. He smiled as he spoke. ‘Wait’, he said, ‘I will show you what I have bought and how much they charged me. Then you shall tell me if I have done well.’ #QHS
Having spoken he raised his hands and clapped three times. At once a servant emerged from behind a curtain – and I realised even in London he had maintained the rules of his palace and always had assistance close at hand. The various lists were brought and I glanced through them. He had spent over one thousand pounds, buying with excellent judgment and with little of that love of the ornate and curious which eastern potentates so often display. I was able to tell him that the prices where reasonable, and he nodded agreement. ‘Yes’, he said, ‘they do not cheat you in trade, the English. I like London. Everything here is so …’ he paused in search of a word. ‘So firm’, he said at last. ‘Everything here is so firm’. #QHS
Almost at once he began to speak of labour troubles, of Socialism. Was there any chance of this, he asked ? Would it do harm ? He spoke without prejudice and as one well acquainted with Socialist theory though very skeptical as to its practical application. I answered as well as I was able, probably knew much more than I did. He saw that I was not likely to give useful answers and at once sought another topic.
He had been charmed by the Prince of Wales. One day that young man would rule a vast Empire. Would he be friendly to Ethiopia ?
I gave what assurance I felt able, wondering inwardly at that strange gift which had enabled the Prince of Wales to find in a brief interview and without the least effort a friendly footing with an Ethiopian Emperor.
‘I hope that he will visit me at Addis Ababa’, said the Emperor. ‘I will find good hunting for him. He shall see how our men can shoot and ride… And you must come too, Princess. You have stayed away too long…’ He looked at me reflectively. ‘ Don’t you find your husband very white?’ he asked. #QHS
It was a gentle, friendly question, and the Emperor smiled as he spoke; but I sensed the hint of reproof in the tone and felt the intense pride of race that was summed up in those simple words.
The Emperor renewed his invitation with the utmost cordiality. Then all at once he frowned. ‘Your husband was a soldier. They tell me he has fought in the East ?’. I said that this was so. ‘You must bring him out to me’, he said. ‘Our neighbours are becoming too … friendly. I fear we shall have trouble soon’. #QHS
The grave tone was prophetic. Then the Emperor was smiling again, telling me that the Empress wished very much to see me, that she had sent me her portrait, that she hoped my family were blessed by God’s mercy, that she would remember me in her prayers.”
Categories
Haile Selassie I - Prophecy

The Icon of Christ Pantocrator from Mount Sinai

A picture of the King in Italy, on his first visit to the country, under Mussolini’s Government in 1924 (LEFT), and an Icon of Christ Pantocrator (Emperor), discovered in the Monastery of Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai (RIGHT), where Moses saw the Face of God.
That Icon is one of the most ancient we have of Christ (6th century A.D.), it is absolutely strange (short hair) and particularly depicts the Messiah in His royal manifestation. It is absolutely THE SAME physiognomy, even for general lines, robes, posture.
It was discovered in 1930, year of Coronation.
The christian iconist for sure had seen the picture of His Majesty before…
Categories
Haile Selassie I - Anecdotes

The Cartridges

“Tafari soon showed that his hand was steady and his eye keen. By constant practice he became a first class shot, far better than Lidj Yassu, whose steadiness of hand had already been lessened by the dissipations in which he indulged despite Tessama’s efforts to prevent him. This was a source of great mortification to Yassu, who one day stole some cartridges which Tafari had been saving for a special occasion. Ammunition is always short in Ethiopia and to steal a man’s cartridges is a very heinous offence under the law, which regards it much as horse stealing was thought of in the Wild West, where a man’s horse was a matter of life and death to him. Lidj Yassu found himself faced by a furiously angry Tafari who levelled a gun at him and demanded the return of his cartridges. At first he laughed out loud at this sign of determination on the part of one of whom he thought so little. Then as he saw the look in the eyes behind the gun, he threw down the stolen ammunition saying that he had only been joking.
That was the first triumph of Tafari over the man who bullied him. It taught the timid lad that the best way to deal with some sorts of people is always to call their bluff.”
(Taken from “Haile Selassie Emperor of Ethiopia”, Princess Asfa Yilma, London 1936)

 

Categories
Ethiopia in the Bible

Melchizedek Priest and King of Salem

After the falling of the tower of Babel, mankind was scattered in confusion for many centuries, because of their inability to communicate correctly and clearly. That’s why the Tower of Babel is called by the Ethiopian Bible as Zerut ዝሩት, i.e. “Diaspora”.
From the lineage of Nimrod the Ethiopian, the builder of the Tower of Babel, came Melchizedek, that is also from the descent of Sem son of Noah the Ethiopian. Although in the Letter to Hebrew chapter 7 Melchizedek is said to be “without father and without mother”, because of his state of mystic deification and the absence in the books of Moses of any genealogy before his appearance, Ethiopian tradition knows exactly his origin and life.
From the Ethiopian Synaxaryum (Miyazia 6; Pagumen 3) we know that after the Flood, Melchizedek and Sem, guided by an angel of God, buried the corpse of Adam – brought into the Ark by Noah – within the “Golgotha” or “Place of the Skull”, where Christ had to be crucified, to baptize with His own blood and water the body of Adam, lying within the soil.
The Tomb of Adam became the temple where Melchizedek ministered His priesthood, and around that place he founded Jerusalem. “Salem” was the name of His wife, that He immortalized by the name of the city. Iyerusaliem ኢየሩሳሌም is interpreted as Iyor Selam ኢዮር ሰላም, being “Iyor” the name of one of the seven heavens, and eartly Jerusalem is just a reflection of the heavenly Jerusalem. Another interpretation is Yrieeyu Selam ይሬእዩ ሰላም “They see peace”, to which Christ seem to refer when speaking to the incredolous city:
“If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” (Luke 19,42)
When Abraham met Melchizedek, and gave him a tribute, then Melchisedek was recognized in his royalty, the same royal order of the Ethiopian Monarchy. In fact, the son of Melchizedek Etiel was sent by his father to settle at the source of the Nile: he was the first one to be called “Ethiops” and he was the progenitor of the Ethiopian people and kings until Agabos and his daugther Makeda Queen of Sheba, who married Salomon. Etièl is what the Greek mythology has re-elaborated in the character of “Atlas”, the Ethiopian King holding the whole world.
While the Ethiopian Synaxaryum declares Melchezedek as son of Shem through Kainan (Pagumen 3), the Ethiopian Andemtà of the Psalm 109 (110) says that he is a prophet from Kam. Therefore, he is half Semitic (predominant) and half Hamitic, as it is the genealogy of Christ Himself, having fathers from Sem and mothers from Kam. In fact, it is written that Melchizedek is “made like unto the Son of God“.
In this way, he sets the same racial standard of Ethiopian people as original people, having inside the whole genetical spectrum of Noah, from his Blessing (Shem) to his Curse (Ham). That’s why Emperor Haile Selassie I said about Ethiopia:
“Her culture and social structure were founded in the mingling of her original culture and civilization with the Hamitic and Semitic migrations into Africa from the Arabian peninsula, and, in fact, today, our language, Amharic, is a member of that large family of Hamitic and Semitic tongues and. therefore, intimately related to Hebrew and Arabic.” (Selected Speeches p. 113)
(Artwork by Ras Abba Yehuda)
Categories
Ethiopia in Western Culture

Herodotus – Histories

Herodotus is commonly considered the father of Western historiography, and certainly one of the oldest historians of mankind. In his works, of course, the nobility of the Ethiopians could not be ignored.

In the Third Book of his “Histories”, Herodotus describes the expansionist desires of King Cambyses of Persia, and his vain attempt to conquer Ethiopia.

“After this Cambyses planned three expeditions, against the Carchedonians,​ and against the Ammonians, and against the ‘long-lived’​ Ethiopians, who dwelt on the Libyan coast of the southern sea. Taking counsel, he resolved to send his fleet against the Carchedonians and a part of his land army against the Ammonians; to Ethiopia he would send first spies, to see what truth there were in the story of a Table of the Sun in that country, and to spy out all else besides, under the pretext of bearing gifts for the Ethiopian king.” (Chapter 17)

In chapter 20 Herodotus teaches the superiority of Ethiopian people over any other:

οἱ δὲ Αἰθίοπες οὗτοι, ἐς τοὺς ἀποπέμπει ὁ Καμβύσης, λέγονται εἶναι μέγιστοι καὶ κάλλιστοι ἀνθρώπων πάντων.

“The Ethiopians to whom this embassy was sent by Cambyses, are said to be the biggest and handsomest men in the whole world.”

Herodotus speaks also about the peculiar and unique character of Ethiopian customs and culture:

“In their customs they differ greatly from the rest of mankind, and particularly in the way they choose their kings; for they find out the man who is the biggest of all the citizens, and of strength equal to his size, and appoint him to rule over them.”

In chapter XXI Herodotus also describes the nobility of Ethiopians and their King, and their disinterest in wars of aggression and conquest of other people’s territories:

“The Icthyophagi on reaching this people, delivered the gifts to the king of the country, and spoke as follows: ‘Cambyses, king of the Persians, anxious to become thy ally and sworn friend, has sent us to hold converse with thee, and to bear thee the gifts thou seest, which are the things wherein he himself delights the most’. Hereon the Ethiopian, who knew they came as spies, made answer: ‘The king of the Persians sent you not with these gifts because he much desired to become my sworn friend- nor is the account which ye give of yourselves true, for ye are come to search out my kingdom. Also your king is not a just man- for were he so, he had not coveted a land which is not his own, nor brought slavery on a people who never did him any wrong. Bear him this bow, and say: <<The king of the Ethiopians thus advises the king of the Persians when the Persians can pull a bow of this strength thus easily, then let him come with an army of superior strength against the long-lived Ethiopians >>, till then, let him thank the gods that they have not put it into the heart of the sons of the Ethiopians to covet countries which do not belong to them’.”

In chapter 22 another superiority of the Ethiopians is also highlighted, longevity, as they were called “long-lived”. The King of Ethiopia asked “what the Persian king was wont to eat, and to what age the longest-lived of the Persians had been known to attain. They told him that the king ate bread, and described the nature of wheat- adding that eighty years was the longest term of man’s life among the Persians. Hereat the Ethiopian remarked, ‘It does not surprise me, if they fed on dirt, that they die so soon’.”

In chapter 23 the King explains the diet of Ethiopians and relate their long life to a special Ethiopian fountain where they washed, i.e. the River of Eden and the famous “Fountain of Eternal Youth”, that we can find in other books of classic literature:

“The Icthyophagi then in their turn questioned the king concerning the term of life, and diet of his people, and were told that most of them lived to be a 120 years old, while some even went beyond that age- they ate boiled flesh, and had for their drink nothing but milk. When the Icthyophagi showed wonder at the number of the years, he led them to a fountain, wherein when they had washed, they found their flesh all glossy and sleek, as if they had bathed in oil- and a scent came from the spring like that of violets. The water was so weak, they said, that nothing would float in it, neither wood, nor any lighter substance, but all went to the bottom. If the account of this fountain be true, it would be their constant use of the water from it which makes them so long-lived.”

The wealth of the Ethiopian Kingdom was so special that “when they quitted the fountain the king led them to a prison, where the prisoners were all of them bound with fetters of gold.”

According to chapter 25, irritated by the words of the Ethiopian King, Cambyses decided to march against him, towards the heavenly extremities of the earth:

“When the spies had now seen everything, they returned back to Egypt, and made report to Cambyses, who was stirred to anger by their words. Forthwith he set out on his march against the Ethiopians without having made any provision for the sustenance of his army, or reflected that he was about to wage war in the uttermost parts of the earth.”

But the military expedition was a curse in itself, and failed much before having reached that land, spreading death and disaster among the Persian army:

“Before, however, he had accomplished one-fifth part of the distance, all that the army had in the way of provisions failed; whereupon the men began to eat the sumpter beasts, which shortly failed also. If then, at this time, Cambyses, seeing what was happening, had confessed himself in the wrong, and led his army back, he would have done the wisest thing that he could after the mistake made at the outset; but as it was, he took no manner of heed, but continued to march forwards. So long as the earth gave them anything, the soldiers sustained life by eating the grass and herbs; but when they came to the bare sand, a portion of them were guilty of a horrid deed: by tens they cast lots for a man, who was slain to be the food of the others. When Cambyses heard of these doings, alarmed at such cannibalism, he gave up his attack on Ethiopia, and retreating by the way he had come, reached Thebes, after he had lost vast numbers of his soldiers. From Thebes he marched down to Memphis, where he dismissed the Greeks, allowing them to sail home. And so ended the expedition against Ethiopia.”

This confirms thus the ancient fame of political independence and invincible freedom of the Ethiopians, coming out their divine righteousness.